photographs © Derek Richmond 2008
‘Tis not often I get the urge for a rich sweet dessert, that is until someone places one in front of me. It is not often therefore that I get the urge to make a rich dessert, until I find a recipe that motivates the lazy me into action. One cannot fail with this recipe and the possible transmogrifications of ingredients make it a truly corner store/international/global/cross fusion, oh goodness whatever, kind of cake.
Jamie’s original recipe ingredients are as follows:
• 200g digestive biscuits
• 110g whole pecans, roughly chopped
• 110g pistachio nuts, peeled
• 10 glace cherries
• 2 ready-made meringue nests, smashed up
• 150g unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon golden syrup
• 200g dark chocolate
(here’s a link to a conversion table for across the pond quantities)
Locally, I could not find anything resembling a digestive biscuit so I used ginger snaps. Nor could I find golden syrup so I used an Alabama dark syrup which is nothing like golden syrup but I believed it would work. I chose to leave out the meringue and in addition I made some pistachio and pecan brittle to decorate with.
Oh, the brittle. I ended up having to hammer it out of the pan, so I think I might need to invest in a candy thermometer and perhaps a silicone mat. When it comes to baking, candies and pastries, I have to admit the science takes over. Cooking and science are not an obvious combination in my brain. I do not work with that confluence in mind.
As a child I remember my mother’s baking extravaganzas. They would occur regularly and frenetically, often on a Sunday. The small kitchen would become a haze of flour and love, tempered with manic action. Her recipes always included intuition and experimentation. Flapjacks, delicious squares, fruit cake, bannocks, all of which I would proudly take to school in my packed lunch with my doorstep sandwiches and then gladly trade with my best friend for her store bought chocolate biscuit wrapped in brightly coloured paper.
Fridge cake is delicious and can be made a myriad ways. I like to give it the posh treatment, imagining it came in a white box with a ribbon from some darling little pâtisserie. It gets squishy rather quickly so eat accordingly, bearing in mind that squishy chocolate can be fun, though the bits may get in the way somewhat.
(Jamie’s full recipe here)